Definitions




Estimations of labour force, labour participation rate, unemployment rate, greater labour force, greater labour participation rate and greater unemployment rate - are all computed using the employment / unemployment status of persons of 15 years of age or above.

  1. Employed

    Any person who is engaged in any economic activity either on the day of the survey or on the day preceding the survey or is generally regularly engaged in an economic activity but did not work on any of these days only temporarily because of scheduled rest days, inability to work on these specific days for reasons such as illness, bad conditions that did not allow him to reach work, festivals or other contingencies or constraints. A person is employed if he fulfills the above description. This can be explained further as follows:
    • If a person is enjoying paid leave during employment then the person is considered employed even on the day of leaves. If a person has taken leave from work (whether paid or unpaid leave) where there is reasonable surety of going back to the work after the leave then the person is considered employed on the day of absence from work.
    • Most salaried persons do not go to work every day. They enjoy weekly off-days, paid leaves and holidays on festivals or on days of national celebrations. On such days, salaried persons and other similarly employed persons are considered employment even on the day of leave.
    • In small enterprises, most days of absence from work are unpaid leaves. A person working for such an enterprise could be getting a monthly salary, but such a salary is reduced for the days on which the person does not report to work. This could also happen to person who are on probation. Such a person is considered to be employed even on days of such unpaid leaves.
    • Daily wage workers (both, in agriculture and non-agricultural jobs) often observe a weekly or fortnightly off. In some areas such an off is observed on a day of the lunar calendar. If a person is usually employed and is observing such a day off from work, then such a person is considered employed even on the days of such offs.
    • If a workplace is temporarily shut because of maintenance or a labour strike then a person who is off-duty from such a workplace is considered employed if the workplace is expected to resume work with the coming 15 days. What matters is the reasonable surety of having a job on hand.
    • Businessmen of all kinds are always considered employed if their business is operative at the time of the survey.
    • Family members who assist a family business such as a shop or a farm are considered employed if they state that they are employed. Self-assessment of their status is important in such cases.
    • Persons who are on probation or under training are also considered employed.
    • A person is considered employment independent of the legality of the job. Smugglers, thieves, prostitutes, beggars are considered employed if they consider themselves to be fully engaged (either through contractual arrangements or through self-employment) in these occupations.

  2. Unemployed, willing to work and actively looking for a job

    If a person is not employed, then the reason why the person is not employed becomes very important. There are two possibilities:
    • The person may not be working because of lack of interest in working
    • The person may be interested in working but may not have a job.
      The first possibility is unambiguous - the person is unemployed by choice. The status of the second case where a person is unemployed because of a lack of a job can be the result of one of two scenarios:
    • The person is unemployed because of a lack of a job wherein the person is actively looking for a job.
    • Where a person is unemployed because of a lack of a job but where the person concerned is not actively looking for a job.
    The status "Unemployed, willing to work and actively looking for a job" is for a person who is unemployed because of a lack of job and where such a person is actively looking for a job. A person classified here should satisfy the following criteria:
    • He should be unemployed on the date of the survey
    • He should be actively looking for a job in the 100 hundred days (approximately three months) preceding the date of the survey
    • He should be willing to take up the job if a job is found.
    A person is considered to be actively looking for a job if he/ she person has contacted potential employers for jobs, contacted employment agencies, placement agencies, appeared for job interviews, responded to job advertisements, online employment sites, made applications, submitted resumes to potential employers or reached out to family members, friends, teachers to look for jobs from them. Following does not qualify as actively looking for a job:
    • Reading about jobs available on websites, in newspapers and magazines without doing anything about these.
    • Attending a workshop or a training program to prepare for appearing for job interviews or for jobs in general
    • Waiting for a job offer come in the belief that if such a job offer comes the person will be willing to take up the job.
    Willing to take up a job if available is a necessary but not sufficient condition for this classification.

  3. Unemployed, willing to work and not actively looking for a job

    It is possible that a person is unemployed and is also willing to work, but may not be actively looking for a job. Such a person is unemployed (i.e. is not working or engaged in any economic activity) and is willing to work if a job is made available. However, such a person is not actively looking for a job. This means that while such a person is willing to work if a job is available, he/ she is not contacting potential employers or placement agencies, is not applying for jobs, is not responding to advertisements or even reaching out to friends, family members of teachers in search for a job.
    So, while there is a willingness to work, there is no action on the part of the person to look for a job.An unemployed person who is willing to work but is not able to accept a job that is available does not qualify to be classified here. It is important to be willing to work, not merely be desirous of a job. An unemployed person who is willing to work may not be looking for a job because:
    • There could be a feeling or a belief that there are no jobs available, or that there is no work to do.
    • This could happen during some times of a year in some places. Till work does not become available in a region, such persons could choose to wait.
    • During this wait period they would be willing to work if work was available but would not be actively looking for a job.
    • It is possible that an unemployed person has tried to find a job in the past but having failed to find one, has given up trying to look for a job although such a person is willing to work if work becomes available.
    If an unemployed person is willing to work but cannot take up a job because of constraints (such as family or social discouragement, or illness or lack of transportation facilities), fear (such as of abuse), unwillingness to accept discrimination (in wages or opportunities in jobs perceived to be available) or just plain diffidence, then the person does not qualify to be a part of this category because although the person is willing to work, he cannot take an available job. A person who has never worked and is willing to work but is not actively looking for a job is also included in this status.

  4. Unemployed, not willing to work and not actively looking for a job

    A person who is not employed and is not willing to be employed or is not interested in working in any economic activity is classified as "Unemployed, not willing to work and not actively looking for a job". Typically, students, homemakers, retired persons and unoccupied persons are classified under this category. An unemployed person who is willing to work may not take up an available job because of constraints (such as family or social discouragement, or illness or lack of transportation facilities), fear (such as of abuse), unwillingness to accept discrimination (in wages or opportunities in jobs perceived to be available) or just plain diffidence. Such persons are classified under this category. They are unemployed, not willing to work and not actively looking for a job. Here, "willingness" should not be confused with "desirous". Willingness implies willing to take up an available job.
    • Labour Force (LF): Labour force consists of persons who are of 15 years of age or more and are either of the following two categories:
      • are employed
      • are unemployed and are willing to work and are actively looking for a job
    • Greater Labour Force (GLF): Greater labour force consists of persons who are of 15 years of age or more and are either of the following three categories:
      • are employed
      • are unemployed and are willing to work and are actively looking for a job
      • are unemployed and are willing to work and are not actively looking for a job
    • Labour Participation Rate (LPR): This is the ratio of the labour force to the population greater than 15 years of age.
    • Unemployment Rate (UER): This is the unemployed who are willing to work and are actively looking for a job expressed as a percent of the labour force.
    • Greater Unemployment Rate (GUER): This is the sum of the unemployed who are willing to work and are actively looking for a job and the unemployed who are willing to work and are not actively looking for a job, expressed as a per cent of the greater labour force.
    • Date of status: The employment / unemployment status (or activity status) is measured as of the date of the survey.